Monday, March 3, 2014


North/central Jersey folks, 

I just heard about a exciting local food conference taking place this Sunday. It sounds terrific, and I plan to be there! See below for information. 

(Please note: I've been advised that parking may be difficult, so carpool if you can.) 

Hope to see you there!

In good health, 


Discover Food: 
Explore, Experience, Engage 
Sunday, March 9 from 1 – 4 pm; 4 – 4:30 workshops 
Duke Farms, 80 Route 206, Hillsborough, NJ 
Welcome from Michael Catania, Executive Director of Duke Farms 
— Keynote Speakers — 
Jim Weaver of Tre Piani Restaurant on Slow Food Movement and 
Melina Macall, Food Activist 
from our keynote speakers local foods 
now to change what you eat and where you get it. 
Learn about how you can be proactive about food. Learn about Slow Food and why fresh and local is important 
Experience foods from: Lima Farms, Agricola Restaurant, Shibumi Farms, Fulper Farms, Tre Piani Restaurant, Beechtree Farm, VonThun’s Country Farm Market, Mallery’s Grazin’ Meats, Exo Energy Bars, Brick Farm Market, Rawfully Tempting, Dogwood Farms, Foodergies & Food Family Health, Norz Hill Farm & Market, Basil Bandwagon, and Applegate Farms 
Engage and learn from Food & Water Watch, Hunters Helping the Hungry, NJ Farm to School, Hillsborough CAN, NJ Farmers Against Hunger, Learning Through Gardening, Weis Supermarket, Girl Scout Troop 60637 
Empower yourself to be more in control of your food sources 

Sponsored by BoroGreen, Duke Farms, Sustainable Montgomery, and Sustainable Jersey 
Registration $10 
Maximum capacity of the Coach Barn is up to 100 participants. Tickets are limited. 

Non-perishable, healthy food donations for the local food banks are welcome! 


"Shhh! I gotta focus. I'm shifting into soup mode."
- George, in "The Soup Nazi" (Seinfeld)

Even without the soup nazi on my block, I definitely share George's reverence for soup. Winter, spring, fall, and even summer…..I'm ALWAYS in soup mode. I absolutely LOVE soup. Get the message?? 

In fact, I've been relying on warm, steaming bowls of goodness to get me through this frigid, seemingly endless winter. 

 And what better soup for the job than a thick, hearty split pea?

(Cue the teenage girl in the house: "EEEUUUWWW….what's THAT??") 
Ok, I admit it--split pea is not the most attractive of soups. But what it lacks in elegance, it more than makes up for in heartiness. It's also a great source of complex carbs and fiber. 

I have to warn you that it does need a few hours of cooking (unless you want to presoak the beans and/or puree it in a blender). I say why bother fussing when a dish is fully capable of cooking itself? You don't even need to sauté the veggies. It's so EASY. No fuss comfort food--the best kind!

Traditionally, split pea soup calls for a ham shank….to which I say, "Ick." I can't even look at those things. I prefer to add chopped ham at the end, if desired. That way, those who don't like ham can pretty easily avoid it. In my house, ham makes the hubby happy, but my portion is meat-free. 


1 lb dried split peas, rinsed and picked through
1  quart chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium, preferably organic)
2 cups filtered water
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch slices
3 celery stalks, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups cubed ham (optional)

Do this:

1. In a large Dutch oven, combine peas, broth, water and onion. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Cover loosely and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours. 

2. Add carrots and celery and continue to simmer, uncovered, for another 1 1/2 hours or until soup has thickened. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives. 

I like to serve it with a few of my favorite crackers, which just happen to be gluten-free: Mary's Gone Crackers.

See, I said it was easy!